A 24-year-old British man, Tom, was blindsided on Thursday when he was denied entry back in Taiwan, following the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) announcement a day earlier that starting at midnight on March 18, all foreigners will be barred from entering Taiwan.
This came as a nasty surprise for Tom, who had left 2 weeks prior to the announcement to do some photography work for a hotel in the Maldives.
Tom told The China Post and 4-Way Voice that he really wants to return to Taiwan.
“I came to this country a year ago because it looked amazing to me and decided to stay because I like life in Taiwan. I currently rent a small apartment in Taiwan and all my things are in there — medication, and even my family’s belongings, too,” Tom said.
Tom took a connecting flight through Dubai to come back to Taiwan, only to realize that his plane landed just after the midnight deadline which prevented his entry back into the country.
He quickly chose to fly to a close destination which has yet to close their borders — Bali, to wait out Taiwan’s entry ban on foreigners.
“I understand that certain measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the virus but I still need to pay my rent even though I can’t go home. Besides that, all my possessions, everything I own, are in Taiwan. How do I get them back? “
In fact, compared to Bali or Taiwan, Tom’s hometown, the UK is in an even dire situation.
Tom said that he doesn’t want to go back home and risk getting infected, but is also denied entry by his “second home”.
With only a 5 kg suitcase and basic necessities, Tom is at a loss.
As countries begin to tighten virus-prevention measures, many foreigners as well as Taiwan nationals abroad, are scrambling to come back to Taiwan, in the hopes of waiting out the pandemic in the safety of its arms.
As Tom relayed his situation to us, he was also on his flight heading to Bali, hoping he can return to his home away from home soon.